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Madison County officials urge mask use with coronavirus cases on the rise

Hospitalizations in Madison County have seen a considerable increase over the past two weeks and officials are asking community members to wear masks in an effort to cut down the spread.

Posted: Jun 22, 2020 7:16 PM
Updated: Jun 22, 2020 7:46 PM

As coronavirus cases in Alabama surpass 30,000, Madison County officials say hospitalizations are on the rise.

David Spillers, CEO of Huntsville Hospital, called the increase “fairly substantial.”

“Last time, I reported we had eight COVID positive patients that were in the Madison County facilities. Today, we have 23,” Spillers said of the rise over the past two weeks.

Among those hospitalized in the county, shortness of breath and fever are what most commonly brought them in.

The percentage of positive tests is also on the rise, even with a significant amount of testing being done to asymptomatic people, according to Spillers.

“For the longest time, I presented to this group that about three percent of all of our tests were running positive,” he said. “That’s now up around six to eight percent of the tests we run are coming back positive.”

Nearly 26 percent of those admitted in Madison County end up in the ICU -- where patients have a 33 percent mortality rate. Only six deaths have been reported in the county so far.

The most surprising number, according to Spillers, is the average age of someone admitted to the hospital -- currently sitting at 54.6.

“People tend to think this is much more skewed towards the elderly - and, if you look at mortality, it is much more skewed towards the elderly,” Spillers explained. “For me, 54 is not old at all.”

While the numbers are on the rise, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says the city is not in a position where a mandatory mask ordinance is necessary.

The mayor has been very vocal about mask use in the community. Though he is urging people to wear them, he hasn’t put forth any ordinances yet and says things are currently in a monitoring phase.

“In areas where you can stay separated, you may not need to wear a mask,” he said, “but in those areas where you come close to people, you’ve got to wear a mask.”

Spillers, also a strong advocate of mask use, says it’s not political, it’s just logical.

“I think that that’s the single most important thing we could do to try to minimize the spread of coronavirus,” he explained.

While the city has discussed the possibility of a mask ordinance, Battle says it would take a significant spike to get into a position where they’d be ready to draft something.

On Monday, Battle said around 700 new cases would put an ordinance “in consideration.”

But with that would come the challenge of enforcement.

“How would you enforce it?” Battle asked. “How are you gonna make sure that four year old keeps his mask on? I have a four-year-old grandson, it’s gonna be kind of hard to keep him in a mask.”

If the city got to a point where a mask ordinance was in serious consideration, Battle and the city would be in contact with Montgomery and Birmingham - who both have policies in place - to discuss some of their best practices.

Battle said he believes the Huntsville community cam get through the pandemic better than any other community in the state, so long as they focus and mask, sanitize and stay separated.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530011

Reported Deaths: 10946
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson763591519
Mobile40875804
Madison34676503
Tuscaloosa25717451
Montgomery24308585
Shelby23389248
Baldwin21093307
Lee15844169
Calhoun14481313
Morgan14281279
Etowah13813353
Marshall12203222
Houston10553280
Elmore10036205
Limestone9952150
Cullman9647193
St. Clair9634239
Lauderdale9413241
DeKalb8821185
Talladega8210175
Walker7222277
Autauga6914108
Jackson6803111
Blount6645136
Colbert6291134
Coffee5503118
Dale4826111
Russell440038
Chilton4263111
Franklin425482
Covington4120117
Tallapoosa4006152
Escambia393276
Chambers3559123
Dallas3544151
Clarke350861
Marion3111100
Pike310177
Lawrence299898
Winston273772
Bibb260463
Marengo249164
Geneva248777
Pickens233760
Barbour230757
Hale222577
Butler215869
Fayette212062
Henry188744
Cherokee184345
Randolph179941
Monroe177040
Washington167039
Macon158650
Clay155956
Crenshaw151957
Cleburne148741
Lamar141834
Lowndes138553
Wilcox127029
Bullock123041
Conecuh110129
Perry107526
Coosa107128
Sumter104332
Greene92334
Choctaw60424
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 852072

Reported Deaths: 12245
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby955251616
Davidson89317933
Knox50606634
Hamilton44219493
Rutherford43026434
Williamson27986217
Sumner23978349
Montgomery20232225
Wilson18779233
Out of TN1839297
Unassigned17048134
Sullivan16760294
Blount15486193
Bradley15010149
Washington14582245
Maury13493172
Sevier13377175
Putnam11376175
Madison11164242
Robertson9755131
Anderson8758172
Hamblen8604173
Greene7864155
Tipton7349103
Coffee6903121
Dickson6835110
Cumberland6726132
Carter6628158
Gibson6524145
McMinn650698
Bedford6502128
Roane6281105
Jefferson6198124
Loudon612469
Hawkins6050107
Lawrence593087
Monroe583795
Warren554881
Dyer5423106
Franklin514690
Fayette506177
Cheatham454755
Obion453896
Cocke449699
Lincoln435263
Rhea434375
Marshall418658
Campbell415463
Weakley412564
Giles3995100
Henderson378876
White363270
Macon361778
Carroll361483
Hardin357167
Hardeman351864
Lauderdale318544
Henry317976
Claiborne317773
Marion312547
Scott311645
Overton300861
Wayne296134
Hickman283846
McNairy281654
DeKalb279554
Smith277439
Haywood271162
Grainger262550
Trousdale250022
Morgan249739
Fentress241347
Johnson240839
Chester214351
Bledsoe214011
Polk207624
Crockett203448
Unicoi203449
Cannon192031
Union190534
Humphreys179526
Grundy179234
Lake170326
Sequatchie169729
Benton165940
Decatur158639
Lewis158126
Meigs138825
Stewart132428
Jackson131936
Clay110131
Houston109333
Perry106628
Moore101017
Van Buren84623
Pickett75924
Hancock58912

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